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Steven Y Park, MD  
Male, 53
New York, NY

Specialties: Sleep-breathing disorders

Interests: Running, Baking, origami
Private Practice
New York, NY
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When Men Cry

Nov 14, 2008 - 8 comments



sleep deprivation




obstructive sleep apnea

Once in a while, I see male patients that reveal that they sometimes cry in the mornings upon awakening from sleep. There are two major reasons: The first group includes men who can’t stay asleep or keep waking up, feeling exhausted when the alarm goes off, and they feel as if they only slept for 2-3 hours. The other group includes men who undergo definitive treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (whether via a positive air pressure machine, a dental device or via surgery), who are able to achieve deep sleep for the first time in years. These men have tears of joy. The most memorable experience is one man who had severe sleep apnea who couldn’t tolerate a positive pressure mask, and after a long discussion, decided to undergo major throat surgery involving the soft palate and tongue. He noted that one morning, a few weeks after the surgery, he awoke and for the first time in years, felt light he achieved deep sleep and felt clear headed. This is when he noticed his eyes welling up with tears.

Unfortunately, I see more people in the former group, in women as well as in men. One woman even told me that she curses the mornings when she has to wake up.

Do you ever cry because you can’t sleep?

Steven Y. Park, M.D., author of Sleep, Interrupted: A physician reveals the #1 reason why so many of us are sick and tired. Endorsed by New York Times best-selling authors Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Mark Liponis, and Mary Shomon.


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by Susie788, Nov 14, 2008
Sometimes,but mostly I just get very angry,irritable and highly frustrated.  I am very jealous and resentful because others can sleep like a baby and I have been cheated of the blessing.  It is so... unfair.


Avatar universal
by outlawzmjc, Nov 15, 2008
im going through the "methadone" withdrawal, today like day 15, and sure i get tears cause i get so mad that i cant fall asleep. i dread the days, they are always so long and sickining for me

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by Tuckamore, Nov 15, 2008
Dr Park, thank you for the informative post. When I can't sleep, which is several times a week, it is due to pain. I cry out of frustration, anger and pain. OH for the days when I had a bit of trouble falling asleep because I had played or worked to hard. Tuckamore

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by redheadaussie, Nov 16, 2008
Oooooh yeah baby! My days are full of dread and tears as I drag myself through yet another day. I know full well I will be totally exhausted and await slumber land like a teenager on her first date. Trepidation fills my mood. I do my best to konk out for the evening, then awaken through the night for who knows what reason. Often I catch myself snoring louder than a logging truck. So I awaken, dead to the world of the living, tears are stemmed by knowing I have to get my son up for school and go through the whole rigamarole yet again in maybe 12 hours...Sleep! Perchance to dream!

Avatar universal
by AndrewUK, Nov 17, 2008
Susie788 - Sounds like the symptoms of paranoia, I would talk to someone more about this, there are people out there who can help.

Outlawzjmc - Your doing well mate, 15 days of withdrawal, I hope you have plenty of family and friends out there supporting you, and I am sure they are proud of you, and I hope your proud of yourself.

redheadaussie, im no doctor, but yours to me sounds like stress and depression. Have you considered some alone time, or perhaps a holiday, to destress you out?

Avatar universal
by Steven Y Park, MDBlank, Nov 18, 2008
Thanks for all your thoughtful comments.


It may seem on the surface that some of the  above posters need professional counseling, but consider the possibility that these people feel the way they do because they can't sleep well. Imagine if you can't ever achieve deep sleep or keep waking up every few hours. Is it possible that you may feel more stressed, be prone to depressive thoughts and be jealous of others that can sleep?

Avatar universal
by nuclearpowerpants, Dec 05, 2008

What on earth are you talking about? Which part of susie788's post made you think she has symptoms of paranoia? She said she's tired and frustrated because she can't sleep. Same for redheadaussie.

That's right, you are 'no doctor'. I think you need to stop pretending like you know what you're talking about and let the trained professionals diagnose who is crazy / paranoid / depressed.

Avatar universal
by nuclearpowerpants, Dec 05, 2008
Dr Park.

Thanks for a thoughtful post.

Might I suggest that since crying is a para-sympathetic nervous system response, it may be due to the levelling out of the nervous system state caused by getting adequate sleep.

I have found tears (as well as laughter) come much easier when my nervous system is in balance when I can breathe freely through my nose and sleep better. In fact, due to my chronic 'fight or flight' state, I cried maybe twice in the last 20 years of my life. Recently, after having some success with nose treatments, I have cried freely many times, and felt great relief afterwards.

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